Originally launched in 1987, MARSHAL LAW was a gob of spit in the face of superhero comics; a gleefully violent satire of the genre. The titular character was a superhero hunter, a war veteran living in a dystopian future city, tasked with hunting down the array of superpowered criminals and psychopaths created and then discarded by the US Government. In the words of the Marshal: “I hunt heroes. Haven’t found any yet.”Read more »
Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Sean Hogan
Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Chris Alexander
Slade (left) with Paul Landers of Rammstein
It’s no secret that your humble EIC is obsessed by the gritty, fascinating and despicably violent psychosexual novels penned by Canadian literary entity Michael Slade (aka the pseudonym of former Vancouver criminal lawyer Jay Clarke). For over three decades, Slade has been crafting dense, pulp thrillers surrounding the serial killer profiling Special X, an RCMP run outfit that consistently runs afoul of perverse madmen (and women) in classic tomes such as HEADHUNTER, GHOUL, HANGMAN, RED SNOW, DEATH’S DOOR and CUTTHROAT; extensively researched , historically accurate amalgams of high art and exploitative trash.Read more »
Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Dave Pace
Perhaps one of the most interesting and challenging artists working in modern portraiture , Joe Coleman brings us ecstatic visions of martyrdom and myth. His paintings tell the stories of the life and often tragic death of his subjects whom he culls from the dark side of pop-culture. Dark celebrities. Serial killers. Mad artists. All have had their bodies and lives examined through Joe’s unique eye.Read more »
Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Svetlana Fedotov
Brandon Seifert has come a long way in a very short time. With his partner-in-crime Lukas Ketner, they turned their supernatural/medical creation, WITCH DOCTOR into one of the most well received new series in the past two years. With the second arc, MALPRACTICE, well underway, Seifert is also finding himself penning such iconic works as HELLRAISER for Boom Studios and DR WHO for IDW. Though relatively new to the comic scene, he has shown a talent for story and dialogue that has continued to spur his popularity. He recently sat down with Fango to talk magic, mayhem, and medicine.Read more »
Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Svetlana Fedotov
It has been a trying four months for Steve Niles’ comic creations CRIMINAL MACABRE and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. Not only have the two series been fighting to the death in the appropriately titled crossover, FINAL NIGHT (out from Dark Horse) but the “loser” has the added pressure of being put in permanent retirement. While fans have been biting their nails in anticipation, Niles has been keeping the outcome a tightly kept secret. Until now. With the release of the final issue this past Wednesday, we finally find out which of the two will live to see another run. Steve Niles recently sat down with FANGORIA in an exclusive interview about the ending of one series, the continuation of another, and all the little bits in between.
* WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! *Read more »
Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Erica Leon
Brad C. Hodson with fans at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Horror fiction writers beware, there is a new kid in town, and his first novel DARLING is now available. We had the opportunity to speak with author/filmmaker Brad C. Hodson about his terrifying book (reviewed in FANGORIA #322), a dark, shuddery story of two friends who, after a tragedy, end up in an apartment that is consumed by a none too friendly spectral entity.
Hodson is in fact a former stand-up comedian proving truth in what they say: funny people are indeed dark…Read more »
Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Svetlana Fedotov
Ben Templesmith’s is a one-of-a-kind artist who’s built his career on unique visions of color and form. With a subdued palette and iconic style, Templesmith’s reputation grown by leaps and bounds as the man to go to for a bit of the bizarre. He is also known as being one half of the duo behind 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, filling up the pages with grotesque bloodsuckers and their screaming victims in a fight to survive a vampire invasion during a month of Alaskan darkness. After the award-winning book launched his career, he went on to do work for both mainstream and not-so-mainstream comics, even creating his own character in the form of WORMWOOD: GENTLEMAN CORPSE. Fango spoke with the illustrator about his career, thus far.
FANGORIA: Your most notable work is 30 DAYS OF NIGHT with Steve Niles, which Niles still writes for. How do you feel about the series possibly ending soon?
BEN TEMPLESMITH: I’m very happy that the 30 DAYS OF NIGHT franchise is being laid to rest for a while. I think that after the initial trilogy, it lost its way for a while anyway. The whole concept of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT is in the title and it hasn’t been in the title for a very long time, so the fact that it’s ending in some capacity is a good thing. I’m waiting for a revamp in ten to fifteen years. I left the whole 30 DAYS thing in the past quite a few years ago, but Steve’s still writing it. It’s quite the labor of love, so it means more to him than to me at this point. I’ve been trying to define my career since the vampires; not that he hasn’t, but he’s still involved and I’m not. I’m sad, but I’m not that sad. Let it rest for a while. They made it a monthly and the sales weren’t there, that’s why they did it. It’s a sad business reality. That was the non-fluff answer. That was the brutal economics answer.
FANG: How much creative control did you have on 30 DAYS OF NIGHT? What about Steve Niles other large work, CRIMINAL MACABRE?
TEMPLESMITH: First is first, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT was originally a creator-owned book. It was just me and Steve having fun, goofing around because we were bored and waiting for something else to happen. We had complete creative control, editorially speaking, not so much in other aspects of being creator controlled intellectual property. So in my case, because I was a small time guy, especially at the time, it was my big break. But yeah, complete freedom in that sense. I don’t get a say in anything to do with the book in regards to who is the artist after me or anything like that.
With Cal McDonald, that was Steve’s idea to begin with and very much his baby and I was just the artist. He was the boss, which is the way it should be. You’re meant to follow the dictates of the writer anyway. But I’ve never had issues with editorial, especially not with IDW, which is a nice thing. Because I won’t be told what to do. I mean, it’s stupid, if you want me to do a book, people at this point know what they’re gonna get. I’m not going to draw like Jim Lee.
FANG: Were you involved in the 30 DAYS OF NIGHT movie at all?
TEMPLESMITH: I actually did not do any work for 30 DAYS, I was cut out of all of that and had no contact with the movie people. But it was kind of like stars aligning when I went down to visit the set and met the director. It was then I learned that I could have been involved in stuff. But I didn’t have an agent or someone pushing for me in Hollywood and my publisher didn’t let me know anything. I was in Australia at that point not knowing much. I didn’t actually do much. I did do something for a web based computer game about it, but that was about it. I had no concept work or anything like that. All of that was down to how amazing the director was, for using my originals for the concept.
FANG: Would you like to do concept work for movies at all?
TEMPLESMITH: I would happily do concept work. Concept work is just the fun stuff. I’ve done a little bit. I’ve done a movie called BOOGEYMAN 2. I apparently designed the boogeyman, at least at first, until they fired the director and moved to a different one and the movie actually got made. But I’ve never seen the movie.
FANG: There’s a rumor that you might be doing more work with Steve Niles. Can you tell us anything?
TEMPLESMITH: Yes, we have plans. We’re talking again, but I can’t reveal too much yet. We’re collaborating with a third person, Menton the 3rd, who’s an artist, and we’re doing an art book slash comic book slash narrative. It’s going to have comic books in there, called LUST. We did a Kickstarter for it and raised like, seventy thousand bucks. Some lucky people are getting a hard cover book sometime soon. It’s about the seven deadly sins. We’re taking Lust for book one. There will be a series of books, though we’re only doing the first one so far. So Steve and I are working together again, but we have bigger plans than that, which I’m not talking about yet.
FANG: One of your earliest works was HELLSPAWN, taking over for Ashley Wood. You two have similar art styles, did you have any sort of working relationship? Did he influence you at all?
TEMPLESMITH: Ashley came from the same city I did. He has eight years on me professionally and he has been around longer than I have. He did HELLSPAWN before I did, obviously, and I followed him on the book. He left the book with like four pages left to draw, so I finished four pages. For some reason, Todd [McFarlane] decided to use my pin-ups as the cover for that issue and then the next issue, he did the cover and I did the whole issue. After that, I did all the covers and the issues. We actually shared a studio for about six months, but he never turned up when I was there and I never turned up when he was there, so neither of us believed the other one actually used it. Since then, he went on to be a massive toy company guy and artist in general with a huge gallery shows. Ash’s work got me in to comics and the fact that he was from where I was from, kept me going. I owe a lot to him.
FANG: You have also worked with the legendary Warren Ellis on the comic FELL. How did you involved with him?
TEMPLESMITH: He emailed me. He emailed me at four a.m. He paid me the highest compliment of my career at one point. He channeled someone on his email contact list and said “I’m never going to get a professional artist to work with me on a book for no money with this crazy idea I have.” So, I emailed him at 4 AM my time, in Australia, and said, “I’ll do it.”
He emailed me straight back with the biggest compliment and said “oh, I’ve wanted to work with you for a long time.” And I’m like “it’s fucking Warren Ellis!” He said that! So after that, it was on, because I’m a risk taker. I don’t need money to do a book. I will make money if it sells. I’m a back end guy, I believe in what I do and I’m not looking for a page rate, which is what most corporate artists in Marvel and DC do. They get paid to draw. I only make a living if the work I create and own sells. It’s a lot more risky, but since it’s more natural for me, he’s going to get people like me to do stuff and I’m really glad that I did. It worked really well.
It may come back eventually, it’s a long story. There’s one issue done and I could have it illustrated tomorrow and Image won’t print it. They would want two or three more issues of script written in the can, because they’re not going to release one issue of a monthly book once every two years. I’ll need a few more, so I’m between a rock and a hard place. I need to find a month to do a book for basically nothing to encourage Warren to write more. He thinks his best work on that has already happened. He’s got to rise to the challenge, but he’s intimidated by his own work. He’s quite a humble guy when it comes down to the quality he’s already put out. I think he can match it. I owe Warren my career too, by the way. I will have his babies.
FANG: You also have the creator-owned WORMWOOD: GENTLEMAN CORPSE.
TEMPLESMITH: Well, as far as creator-owned, it is partially owned by a corporation. Ownership implies control and to me, that’s a big thing, a big dynamic. It’s what I’m pushing my career for. So, terminology matters in that sense. It’s more like creator-invested versus creator-owned. There are differences there, business wise. But yes, WORMWOOD was my baby, my first proper baby and it’ll come back, maybe. He’s inspired by all the goofy ideas I had while I was growing up and as a teenager. It gestated all together—just me having fun. There’s no real story there, just hilarious attempts at humor. It’s stupid humor for intelligent people, I call it. Well, there’s a vague story there, I mean, it’s done really well. There will be more.
I’m still debating what the next one will be. I have it written, but I don’t have it drawn yet. I need to find time. “Bingo Night in Valhalla” will happen! Either that or the other one titled “Mr. Wormwood Goes to War.”
FANG: Any upcoming work?
TEMPLESMITH: I am doing a new book, just solicited this month with J. Micheal Straczynski, who created BABYLON 5 and other things. I’m doing a twelve issue series with him called TEN GRAND. I don’t remember the code, but it is in comic previews now. It’s from Image.
FANG: How about a fun fact?
TEMPLESMITH: Most of the information on my Wikipedia page is not correct, mostly because it’s controlled by crazy people who won’t let anyone update it with truth.Read more »
Books/Art/Culture,Fearful Features,Features/Interviews,Movies/TV,News Trevor Parker
For fans of Rob Zombie and his multitude of media tentacles, Christmas is coming in April. In addition to Zombie’s much-anticipated, hotly-debated arthouse horror THE LORDS OF SALEM galloping onto screens April nineteenth (courtesy of Anchor Bay), his latest, meanest solo album VENOMOUS RAT REGENERATION VENDOR lands a mere four days later via Universal music. Even with the considerable bulk of those two projects to juggle, Zombie is also publishing a novelization of his SALEM script (serialized in the March issue of Fangoria), prepping a corresponding album tour, and as a director he’s circling a departure from his horror filmography—a dramatization of the Philadelphia Flyers merciless run to the NHL championship during the 1970’s called BROAD STREET BULLIES. FANGORIA got a chance to chat exclusively with Zombie about his new album for our April issue, and also managed to grill the man on some of the other pursuits mentioned above.Read more »
Features/Interviews,News Amanda Dyar
Out March 19, for Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U, THE WALKING DEAD: SURVIVAL INSTINCT is packed full of zombie goodness. To get more insight into the chaos to come, FANGORIA recently sat down with Terminal Reality’s Principal FX Artist/System Designer, Glenn Gamble.Read more »
Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Samuel Zimmerman
by: Samuel Zimmerman on: 2013-02-01 16:56:17
It’s a timeless precursor to everything from the wicked grinRead more »
of FINAL DESTINATION’s elaborate doom to the morbidly humorous goth teen angst
now sold fervently in suburban malls. While certainly not the first to reveal a
sense of gallows humor about imminent death, Edward Gorey’s GASHLYCRUMB TINIES
hath endured, influencing the likes of Tim Burton and Clive Barker and
reassuring that even as we suffer the little children to come unto the Grim Reaper,
it’s quite alright to crack a smile.
Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,News Trevor Parker
by: Trevor Parker on: 2013-01-29 19:13:09
It’s no secret that Hollywood moves in cycles both repetitive and competitive, as various studios race to trump each other by offering product with similar, often identical themes. At one point, audiences were treated to a glut of age-swapping comedies. There was a time when volcano movies battled it out at the box office. Nowadays, it seems that fairytale-based movies are in vogue, with the SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN sequel and ‘Sleeping Beauty’ riff MALEFICIENT the latest to be announced. Most intriguing of these impending releases has to be DEAD SNOW director Tommy Wirkola bringing his berserk slant to breadcrumb trails and gingerbread houses with his new film HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS. In that spirit of broaching the darker side of beloved and familiar fairytales, emphasizing their exploitation of primal childhood anxieties like illness, abandonment, and death, FANGORIA’s Trevor Parker presents a list of ten tales that should be made (or remade) into horror movies.
THE DEVIL AND THE THREE GOLDEN HAIRS
A lesser known chapter of the Grimm Brothers’ canon of children’s favorites, and one frequently softened in retellings by replacing ‘devil’ with ‘dragon’. It’s the story of a peasant boy sent by an evil monarch on an impossible mission to retrieve three golden hairs from the top of the Devil’s head. Aided by a ferryman who transports him over the river and into the realm of Hell, the boy meets the Devil’s grandmother (!), who takes pity on the lad and promises to help dupe her grumpy grandson and procure the precious hairs. This tale needs to be a film if only to give Hollywood’s top visual artists the chance to fire up their imaginations and design Satan’s granny for audiences to enjoy.
This fanged, goat-like imp enjoys a surge in mention and popularity every holiday season as cynics and hipsters embrace what is essentially the anti-Claus. In Bavarian legend, naughty children labor under the pall of something worse than the absence of presents on Christmas morning. Rather, the bad eggs are visited by Krampus, who breaks in through a window like a burglar and tosses the offending tykes in a sack, then spirits them away to whatever awful punishments a sugar-injected guilty conscience can conjure up. Perfect material for a grinchy Christmas classic or warped cartoon exploration.
BOOTS AND THE TROLL
Trolls are big in Scandinavian culture, and Norwegian folktales are ridden with the ugly, stinking goliaths. In one particular favorite that echoes ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ (only with more beheadings and interfamilial cannibalism), a smart-ass kid named Boots is tasked with stealing a series of objects from a nearby family of trolls. Boots ends up captured by Papa troll and is pretty much doomed to end up on the dinner table with an apple in his mouth. Here’s where Boots brings the time-honored conflict resolution skills of the Viking into play: When the troll daughter worries that the keenness of her slaughtering knife isn’t up to the task of carving into Boots, he kindly proposes that he first sharpen the blade and then test it on the troll’s own hair. With the knife in one palm and a hank of greasy troll hair in the other, Boots proceeds to saw into the trusting girl’s neck and decapitate her. He then cooks her corpse, dresses in her clothes, and manages to trick Papa troll into tucking away several helpings of his own boiled and roasted daughter. Can somebody out there please entice Andre Ovredal, director of 2010’s THE TROLL HUNTER, into tackling this one next?
THE FOX SISTER
The Kumiho is a mythical Korean demon that manifests as a nine-tailed fox with an appetite for human organs. The Kumiho has appeared in films before, almost always in a modern setting, but the creature factors into the very old folktale of the Fox Sister. In it, a farmer with two sons prays that his wife will finally bear him a daughter. The farmer gets his wish, and then some. After his new daughter reaches school-age, the farmer discovers that his livestock are being mutilated in the night (with either the heart or the liver being removed and eaten, depending on the telling of the story). The daughter turns out to be a Kumiho in human guise, and she kills her own parents and one of her brothers before being defeated by her remaining sibling. Simple and bloody, with a distinctive look for the creature, (nine tails?) The Fox Sister could potentially spearhead a revival of Asian horror. (artwork by A. Heller)
THE BRASS CITY
The stories contained within the THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS or ARABIAN TALES have inspired dozens of cinematic interpretations, including ALADDIN and the rousing SINBAD movies. That leaves nine hundred and ninety-nine tales of lesser renown left to choose from; hot desert gusts populated by masked cutthroats, evil genies and parch-throated ghouls. The Brass City is one unpredictably weird NIGHTS story that sees a band of explorers happen upon an empty city hidden behind a wall of black stones. Once the high parapets are scaled, the explorers encounter spirit women who would tempt interlopers into leaping off of the wall and to their deaths, and the city itself is filled with dead bodies and an unnaturally preserved Queen with quicksilver eyes. H.P. Lovecraft said that his own worlds of the bizarre were fomented while in the grip of NIGHTS’ tale-spinner Scheherazade; let’s hope today’s filmmakers might also try drawing from that same well of inspiration.
PENTA OF THE CUT-OFF HANDS
A case study on how distrust of females fuels fairytales of all cultures, the story of Penta is both an Italian classic and about as convoluted as a transit schedule. A windower king falls in love with Penta, who wants nothing to do with him. She asks the King what part of her he adores most, and he replies that it’s her lovely, delicate hands that so cause him his itch. In a rather drastic response, Penta then has her hands promptly hacked off. The King retaliates by ordering Penta chained into a box and dumped into the ocean. A snarl of events occur with a another King, a jealous wife, and a crew of fishermen all stepping onstage at some point; everything culminates in the second King deciding to punish the jealous wife for lying by turning her into a human candle. Standing her on a pile of kindling and slathering her with wax and tallow, the wife slow-broils and the Kingdom celebrates. Oh, and Penta survives and her hands grow back.
THE BOY WHO WENT FORTH TO LEARN FEAR
Another ghoulish entry from the Grimms, this tale has an obvious sense of humor as well as the expected passages meant to startle tiny listeners. A young man, who we can take to be not-one-hundred-percent there, feels no fear and decides to go on a quest that might cause him to “shudder”. Challenged to spend three nights alone in a haunted castle, our wandering idiot encounters ghosts, skeletons, and reanimated corpses; none of whom cause him the least bit of fright as he disposes each visitor in turn. As a madcap comedic romp in the hands of someone like, say, Sam Raimi or Joe Dante, this one could be loads of creepy fun for older kids.
Repulsive witch of Slavic lore who features in a number of Russian folktales, sometimes alone and sometimes as part of a trio with her equally hideous sisters. Living out in the woods, in a hut that stands on a pair of giant chicken legs, Baba is often depicted as a benign naturalist and staunch defender of cuddly wilderness creatures—but in the interests of this article, let’s focus on her sharp teeth, cannibalistic tendencies and mostly unsuccessful efforts to trick brave Cossack heroes into her cast-iron cook pot. (artwork by Karl Grandin)
This most macabre of fairytales warns of the cost of indulging one’s curiosity and is begging for some sort of ultra-gory recounting. The story of a famously ugly serial husband who found the sword a more effective means to conclude his divorces than courts or lawyers, Bluebeard is composed more like a TALES FROM THE CRYPT episode than a kids’ bedtime story. It would retain its impact set in any time period, and would also have one of literature’s most famous and ghastly ‘big reveals’ for a director to play with.
A German children’s book published in 1845 and responsible for untold numbers of soiled lederhosen by kids who were no doubt scarred for life by the pummeling of STRUWWELPETER’s lessons. The title character’s name translates as ‘Shock-headed Peter’, and he’s a rascal whose tuft of wild hair earns him scorn from the groomed townsfolk. The other tales are far crueller in their mission to demonstrate moralities and, like compatriot Krampus, inadvertently reinforce unpleasant stereotypes of Teutonic harshness. To wit: Little Suck-A-Thumb can’t keep his thumb out of his mouth, to the dismay of his concerned parents. Problem solved when a wandering tailor meets Suck-A-Thumb on the road and promptly scissors the boy’s thumbs clean off, blood flowing from the stumps as the book’s explicit illustrations make clear. The other stories are similarly direct: Sassy girl likes to play with matches? She catches fire and dies. Young Kaspar declares that he doesn’t like his soup and will no longer eat it? Starves to death. Curious kid ventures outside during a storm? Lifted by the wind and blown away to his doom. Trust us that this innocuous-looking picture book is a real horror.
(Featured image artwork: Baba Yaga by Vania Zouravliov – http://art.vniz.net/en/)
Columns,Features/Interviews,News Amanda Dyar
by: Amanda Dyar on: 2013-01-26 18:02:15
Fans will be able to get their hands on ALIENS: COLONIALRead more »
MARINES on February 12, 2013 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. We recently sat down
with the video game’s composer Kevin Riepl to get the inside scoop on the Xenomorph chaos that lurks ahead!